Steelers May Have Shown Their Hand On Plans For Jarvis Jones

By Matthew Marczi

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones’ demotion effectively occurred at the 6:56 mark in the second quarter of the team’s loss this past Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. This was the 1st and 10 run from the Raiders’ 40-yard line in which Jones lost outside contain and allowed Darren McFadden to gain 19 yards only to eventually catch up to the play and help make the tackle.

Jones was taken off the field the play after this—the second time in the game that he was pulled mid-series, and probably about the 5th or 6th time this season—replaced with Jason Worilds, who officially got the start for the game despite still being listed as co-starter entering the week.

With Worilds starting the game and Jones being removed twice, there was already plenty of evidence on hand to make the prediction that a move might be made formally later in the week to relieve Jones of his starting responsibilities. In other words, we have already established the fact of the demotion.

But what is the plan now for Jones moving forward in the immediate future?

If you ask me, I believe we already saw the answer. In fact, we saw what would happen in such a situation before the demotion even took place.

The answer is that Keith Butler will keep his word about getting his three outside linebackers on the field at the same time, something that he spoke about having the desire to do during training camp.

Three times against the Oakland Raiders, Jones came on to the field on third downs in order to be a situational pass rusher. Perhaps this was noticed by many observers, made more obvious by his distinctive hair, which easily differentiates him from his counterpart, the short-haired Worilds.

What most likely did not notice on these three plays, however, is that Worilds never came off the field. In fact, there was just one lineman on these occasions, with everybody standing up, including Worilds, who was standing up next to Cameron Heyward.

The first of these plays occurred on the Troy Polamalu interception, on which the left tackle, along with seemingly the majority of the offensive line, were not on the same page regarding the snap count. This allowed Jones to run right by the left tackle without him even coming out of his stance. Jones pressured Terrelle Pryor, who ultimately got outside of him, but pursuit prevented a scramble, and forced Pryor to make a poor decision, which resulted in the turnover.

This happened twice more throughout the game, on the Raiders’ first two drives of the second half. While Jones was unable to influence the outcome of either play, the Raiders were unable to convert first downs. Make no mistake, this is not a Mike Adams situation, in which Jones will be inactive. He will get his playing time. Perhaps it will just come primarily in a specialized role.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • steeltown

    As long as he gets on the field and builds confidence and strength.. because next season, he will be the full time starter

  • Ahmad

    So basically he goes back to the role he was presumed to have before he won the starting job. Great!

  • Callentown

    Weak! The longer this season goes on, the less confidence I have in this coaching staff. They may not WANT to believe the season is toast, but they have to know it is.

    There is no opinion here. The Steelers are a rebuilding team and look like one of the worst teams as they do so. However, the 2013 draft class is going to be relied upon to bring this around next season.


  • You can never give up rookie should only be played if the starter is doing nothing cough Ryan Clark

  • James Kling

    So…. a first round draft pick for a situational pass rusher? Will he graduate to starter, or is that it?

  • cencalsteeler

    Funny you mention him. On the play they pulled Jones (McFaddens 19 yard run) they should have also pulled Clark as well.

  • Ike Evans

    you do know before this year thats all defensive players drafted in the first round by this team were right? situational players….IF that…well unless your name is kendrell bell

  • Ike Evans

    sooooooo…my question is….how did ziggy keep is job for 3 years?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Probably where he fits the best. Jarvis seems to get manhandled by the O Lineman because he lacks some strength and pass rushing moves. As a situational pass rusher he could reek havoc with his speed he’s just got to be able to close the deal when he gets to the QB. He could easily have just as many sacks as Woodley this season but he has a lot of QB misses especially on Sunday.

  • James Kling

    That’s fine… if he’s just going to stay in that role in 2013. If that’s his ceiling, then not so fine.

  • steeltown

    Minus THIS season Hood has played very admirably over his career, another instance where the stats don’t tell the whole story..our Defense has remained at the top of the League since he became a starter

  • Matthew Marczi

    Nothing wrong with Ziggy this year either. It’s just that Heyward has finally shown that he can be consistent.

  • steeltown

    Agree for the most part, just trying to make a point about him over the course of his young career

  • Steve

    Jarvis is a rookie and will learn moves as he watches film and learns his role as OLB.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’m high on JJ and he will only get better he’s just got some areas to improve. I’ve seen enough of JJ at UGA my home state. JJ is gonna be a great OLB for us

  • In my opinion (based on JJ’s college highlights and his performance as a Steeler to date), JJ is a good, instinctive football player, but he is not yet a good NFL 3/4 OLB pass rusher. His college tape doesn’t show him as an elite rusher with an overwhelming bull rush or a well-honed arsenal of pass-rushing moves. Instead, many of his college sacks were coverage sacks or the result of QBs being flushed his way by other rushers. His performance as a Steeler seems to confirm this view. Nor is he strong against the run as he needs to build bulk or improve his strength and technique. He may eventually become the beast we hope he can be, but presently (if he’s used predictably in a static position) his weaknesses present targets that an offense can exploit. As a situational rusher used out of position his present skill-set is more likely to be effective.